The Social Security (Income and Capital Disregards)(Amendment) Regulations (SI 2021/1405) which were laid on 10 December 2021 and came into force on 1 January 2022, created new disregards for various schemes, inclusive of those compensating for child abuse. A significant inclusion as regards personal injury, is the Lambeth Children’s Home Redress Scheme.
In other words, compensation from approved schemes will not affect survivors’ entitlement to means tested state benefits. A Personal Injury Trust is therefore unlikely to be required in such cases.
A recent circular, from the Department for Work and Pensions confirms the position;
SI 2021/1405 provides that compensation payments made:
- by schemes established or approved by the Secretary of State (SOS) for Work and Pensions to compensate for historical institutional child abuse in the United Kingdom, or under the Home Office’s Windrush Compensation Scheme
- do not affect entitlement to means-tested benefits, including Housing Benefit (HB).
On 10 December 2021 the SOS approved a number of redress schemes for the purposes of means-tested benefits, including HB. The schemes for the historical institutional child abuse in the UK approved for the purpose of these regulations at the point when they came into force are:
- Historical Institutional Abuse (NI) Act 2019
- Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Act 2021
- Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme
- The London Borough of Islington’s proposed support payment scheme
Should further schemes be approved by SOS in the future, additional guidance will be issued.